Saturday, August 15, 2009

Nasturtium Vinegar, Rosemary and Lavender Vinegar, and Green Peppercorn Mustard

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
Flavored vinegars, homemade syrups, unusual condiments: these are all things I love. Great host gifts, great ways to make ordinary foods extraordinary, great way to feel superior to Martha Stewart. Here are three recipes to ponder:

Nasturtium Vinegar

8 ounces nasturtium blossoms
2 pints Malt vinegar
3 whole cloves
4 whole black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic halved
2 chopped shallots

Sterilize 2 small bottles. Evenly distribute ingredients in bottles and top with vinegar. Cork or seal bottle securely and store in a dark cool place for 2 months before using. Shake occasionally. Some people strain out the ingredients and transfer to a clean jar before using, that’s optional. Makes 2 pints.

Lavender and Rosemary vinegar

2 pints apple cider vinegar
2 fresh sprigs rosemary
1 teaspoon lavender blossoms

Procedure is same as above but the flavor in this will come out faster so it should be ready to go after sitting in a dark cool place for 3 weeks. Also makes 2 pints.

Green Peppercorn Mustard

3 tablespoons mustard seeds
1/3 cup Coleman’s Dry mustard powder
1/2 cup hot tap water
1/2 cup dry white wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry white vermouth
Big pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dill seed
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Big pinch dried cloves
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon canned green peppercorns drained
1 teaspoon slightly crushed green peppercorns (add at the end)

Combine the mustard seeds, dry mustard powder, hot water and vinegar in a bowl and let sit for at least 3 hours. In a small saucepan, bring to a boil the vermouth, cinnamon, tarragon, dill seed salt and cloves. Strain this into the mustard mixture and stir to combine. Now add the honey and the green peppercorns. Scrape this whole mess into the bowl of your food processor fitted with a steel blade. Whirl to puree. Finally put this mixture into the top of a double boiler and over simmering water. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of green peppercorns slightly crushed. This mixture will thicken as it cools. Put into small jars and refrigerate. This will keep indefinitely.